Smoking ban planned at 20 popular beaches

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The ban will take effect on selected beaches during the pilot phase, including three in the popular beach city of Krabi.

After unearthing a large number of cigarette butts on Patong Beach, the Department of Marine and Coastal announced Monday that smoking will be banned at all beaches nationwide.

He added that the announcements would be made in Thai, English and Mandarin.

Horse riding on Hua Hin beach, a popular activity for domestic and worldwide tourists.

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As told the head of the Department of marine and coastal resources of Thailand Chetuphon Boraphet (Jatuporn Buruspat), Smoking causes significant damage to marine and coastal resources.

The move follows a recent survey of litter on Patong beach, Phuket - visited by millions of foreign tourists each year - which found an average of 0.76 cigarette butts per square metre in a sample area, which would amount to 101,058 butts on the 2.5km-long stretch of sand.

It follows an earlier statement that said environmental agencies had announced a 20 beach ban on smoking and littering that carry a fine of up to THB100,000 and/or a year-long jail term.

Jatuporn said the ban had been discussed with provincial governors and local administrations.

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Jatuporn said he chose to take action after the Andaman Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre found in a recent survey that there were anything from 63,000 to 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5-kilometre stretch of Patong Beach.

Beaches named included Bang Saen, Pattaya main bay, Jomtien near Pattaya, Chonburi Beach, Cha-Am Beach, Khao Takiab, Phetchaburi, Bo Phut Beach, Sairee Beach, Patong, Phuket, Samila Beach, Songkhla. Based on a sampling survey of a 9-square-metre area to a depth of 10 centimeters, the figure was estimated.

To prevent throwing cigarette butts into the sea, Jatuporn said he would seek cooperation from the Marine Department to ban smoking on boats.

Smoking areas will be designated.

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"Smokers will be required to drop their cigarette butts in provided containers before they enter these beaches..."

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